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He’s back…and it’s about time Mar 24

This was going to be a thoughtful consideration of the effect of the new series of Doctor Who (3 days to go!) on fans’ views of the 1996 TV movie but Blogger ate that when my internet connection disconnected itself. I’ll briefly summarise what I wrote.

The basic premise was that the new series has inherited the goodwill directed towards the McGann TV movie. (New series trailer on BBC Four as I type.) I re-watched the TV movie last night and all the benefit of the doubt I had given it in the past melted away. Direction aside (it’s one of the better directed Who stories), it was rubbish. The plot in particular, constructed from technobabble about beryllium atomic clocks, alarm clocks and midnight was rubbish; it begins with the wrong character (the Doctor instead of Grace, the audience’s viewpoint character). The opening narration and squeaky Daleks are naff. McCoy and McGann both overact in places. The gloss production tries and fails to hide a seriously ropy story.

Where the TV movie felt written by a committee, the new series has a clear guiding concept from Russell Davies. Fans might hate it. We may convince ourselves we like it to hide our disappointment. But the trailers, magazine previews, newspaper articles and TV features suggest otherwise. This time Doctor Who is back, and it really is about time.

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